This is strong text that is often difficult for us to understand and take in. Jesus is teaching the disciples about how He must suffer, die and rise again. That must have been huge for them to take in. Prior to this, Jesus has hinted around at it. He has taught in parable form. He has even indicated that things needed to have a sense of secrecy about them. To really get this, let’s go back and look at Mark 8:27-30.
Jesus knew that what He was there for was something completely different than anyone expected. That is because they were thinking in terms they could comprehend and understand…King saves the people and wins the battle. They are saved. But the saving they are expecting is temporary. They had been saved many times from captivity and imprisonment. Jesus wanted to help the disciples to begin to understand…but it was too much for Peter. He couldn’t stand to hear this about His Christ. So, He is thinking in human terms about what He wants Jesus to be and to do. Jesus quickly puts Peter back in his place – and at the same time, I am sure makes a major impact on the others as well. Jesus could have heard the temptation from Satan to just take the King position and not worry about the suffering. Remember in the Garden, He prayed that if the cup could pass… Jesus knew He had to follow God’s plan and knew that this was not from God. He stopped Peter in his tracks and put him in his rightful place – as a follower, a disciple. Peter still had MUCH to learn and SO DO WE! How many times do we look at God’s will and try to make it fit with the image of how we think things should be? Think about it…blessings mean money…God’s favor means wealth…persecution and suffering means you are doing something wrong…help yourself, look after #1…and so on.
Until we begin to understand who Jesus is and what He has done for us – listening to the Holy Spirit and to the Word rather than the world, we will never begin what He is trying to do in and through us.
We will never begin to comprehend how to live in this world when our home is not here. We will never really get it until we begin to “GET HIM”. Soldiers…it’s time we start reading the manual, listening to the leader, and begin obedient…march on, march strong in the power of the Lord!!